Located just north of the Greater Toronto Area stretching from the shores of Lake Simcoe to Georgian Bay, Simcoe Region is one of Ontario and Canada's fastest growing areas; with a population of 262,048. Simcoe Region and its immediate surrounding areas include Barrie, Orillia, Collingwood, Midland, and a number of smaller communities. It has a strong mix of industrial, commercial, tourism and agricultural sectors, as well as strong post secondary institutions. As of the 2006 Census Report, jobs in Simcoe Region are mostly dominated in the manufacturing industry followed by retail trade and construction, respectively. The total number of those holding jobs in Simcoe Region is 134,620 with 7,915 being unemployed.
What seems to be dominating the number of jobs in Simcoe Region is Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Other characteristics gathered from the 2006 Census Report was that the population of Simcoe Region is aging, which means there will be a greater demand for younger workers to enter to workforce in "skilled" and "knowledge" professions. As noted by the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board (TOP Report 2011), an aging population creates an issue for the Health Care Sector as many of the jobs in Simcoe Region will be generated from Nursing and Residential Care facilities. The tourism industry is also a major employer for jobs in Simcoe Region, representing 12 percent of the number of jobs in Simcoe Region, most of which fall under the subsectors of limited-service eating places and gambling.
In relation to the recent recession, the 2011 SMWDB stated that most employers were not looking to downsize as they felt the recession was coming to an end. As such, an increase in hiring was reported for the next twelve month period. Industries in which the number of jobs in Simcoe Region is increasing the most are utilities, arts, entertainment and recreation, and health care and social assistance.
There are currently redevelopments occurring in Simcoe Region that will have a positive impact on the labour market situation. The $450 million redevelopment of Royal Victoria Hospital, which will double the size of the existing hospital, is expected to be completed in early 2013. Also, $630 million in long-term redevelopments for the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene are expected to happen over the next 30 years. Developments like these and many more in the nearby City of Barrie - which economically supports the Simcoe Region - will provide immediate jobs in Simcoe Region such as construction and will contribute to the on-going quality of jobs in Simcoe Region in the health and financial sectors.